Sometimes tiredness just overwhelms everything and after dancing till 2am yesterday and going to bed at 3, today all I could think was tired. I did manage to get one print on canvas in the darkroom which was really exciting since my first try didn’t produce an image. In the afternoon, the vinyl gloves gave me an allergic reaction which was a bit strange, but the toners were really cool! They turned the black and white’s into really awesome shades of blue, orange, and yellow.
After I took an hour and a half nap and woke up with a bit of a stomach ache. We then went to the Robin Hood and the Law session which was a discussion as to whether Robin Hood was guilty of committing robbery. We then each had to get up and present our case for either guilty or not guilty which was hilarious. This required the wearing of a ridiculous wig and robe which caused quite a few giggles. The woman who co-lead the session was absolutely fantastic. From that short session I could tell that she is a fantastic teacher. It really proves the point that you don’t have to be interested in the subject if the teacher is gifted at teaching. The law just came alive as she spoke and had us laughing constantly. We then met Steve at Spanky Van Dyke’s for dinner and drinks. It was fun and had really cool interior decoration. I loved that the bathroom doors said bearded women and strong men with the according illustrations. I headed back early with James cause he wasn’t feeling well, and then watched SYTYCD and responded to emails. So good! Productive night.
9am wake up to see the Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University and get to hold Olympic torch, printing with negatives, selective development, lunch: couldn’t find the vintage camera store, went to Le Petit Four, service was mediocre, was a bit late to class, began to play with diffusion, black paint through glass, teacher is a bit strange, but he’s really nice. Lith printing, went vintage shopping immediately after, wasn’t feeling it, bought fruit at fruit stand, tired, driver got lost on the way to Newstead Abbey, toured the Abbey, Lord Byron had over 200 lovers and this totally decked out canopy bed…, lecture with cool guy, walked the back gardens.
After our lecture, we walked around the back grounds which had a lot of open grass and a big pond in the middle. I saw James and Jerika doing cartwheels and went over to join. It was such fun to move and do dancing related things. Then Cora came over and showed us all up since she had been a gymnast through high school. There was much laughing and giggling. Then as Justin tried to take a picture of the grounds we ran back and forth trying jump in his picture. Before we left I made sure to get a couple jumping pictures of the group :) They’re my favorite.
We the radio didn’t work on the way home, we just took on the role of radio and sang disney/ a few other random songs all the way home. The driver was either highly entertained or highly annoyed…probably the latter. Got dropped off at church pub (Pitcher and Piano, a pub inside of a church). Had a falafel burger that was delish, got after dinner mints and a chocolate orange on the way home, watched a bit more of V for Vendetta and finished the day off catching up on blogging :D
Today was the first day of the third class and I wasn’t sure I had made the right choice in switching from Watercolor to Experimental Fine Art Printing. I chose friendship and camaraderie over the class I had originally wanted and at first I wished I hadn’t changed, but as the day went on I started to get really excited about what we were doing.
Originally I didn’t know what experimental fine art printing was, and even if I had, I probably still would have chosen watercolor. That being said, the class is all experimental darkroom printing. This past semester I really rebelled against darkroom. I didn’t have the patience or the time for it and decided I didn’t really like it, even though I loved the black and white film photography class I took. This trip has been somewhat of a reversal for me. I feel my love for the immediate and plentiful nature of digital to be waning. I feel drained by the many, many pictures I’ve taken on this trip, all the editing involved, and the continuous hard drive cleaning and organization.
This trip is the first time I’ve ever kept a sketchbook/notebook. I was inspired by the beautiful and funny notebooks that James, Karen, and Cora were keeping. I loved all the little sketches, drawings, notes, and quotes, so I bought my own. Like I do with most “art phases” I hit it hard, so I began taking notes and sketching and drawing incessantly. I really feel the urge to head back towards traditional art: drawing, painting, sketching. I think I’m needing something that’s a slower pace. I feel like digital photography races by like a whirlwind. I think the fact that I took 200-500 pictures a day for two weeks has something to do with it, but I nonetheless feel drained and ready for a break from digital photography. I haven’t edited anything for the last week and a half and feel really guilty with no motivation to actually edit them.
This long lead in is the reason I’m actually really enjoying this experimental darkroom class. Printing one picture might take 5 hours from start to finish. Maybe it only takes an hour, but this slow and singular pace is really soothing and exciting. It helps me appreciate the slowing down of life. I don’t actually enjoy anything when I’m too busy and that is the one thing I would critique about this experience. I love that we are busy and having so many wonderful experiences, however I would say that we are too busy, with not enough time to reflect and explore on our own. When I pack too many things in and become tired, I can’t possibly get the most out of all of the experiences I’m having.
I got a bit sidetracked, but I love the alternative printing we’ve been doing: photograms, selective development (like painting with the developer on the exposed photo paper and turns out like watercolor), lith printing, printing through glass with black paint or vaseline, and liquid emulsion on watercolor paper and linen and muslin cloth.
Today Karen and I decided to work together on a project for our final day of photography. We looked at the British tea custom, how tea makes people feel, and I loved the people we met and their responses to our questions and pictures. Some of the responses to my question of “name three words that describe how tea makes you feel or what you like about tea were: comforting, soothing, warming, imagination, creativity, communication, smell, simple, friends, morning, awakening, and ELIXIR (this was my fav!). I also loved that we started off by getting some tea and cake. I had green tea with lemon and ginger and a mixed berry cheese cake, (Sooooo delish.) and Karen had green tea with peach and a dense chocolate cake.
We then wandered around the city and had lunch at Delilah’s which was delightful :). I had a delicious panini of some kind and a lavendar macaron. It was so so so delicious and I bought a chocolate orange cigar. Nom. We met a really cool woman named Angela who was originally from Washington and even offered to have us come to tea at her apartment! So friendly.
We headed back to class after that, picked out our pictures, and our teacher really enjoyed our project. We decided to consider expanding the project to do it as our final project, which I was really excited about!
We met Steve at Orange Tree for drinks. I had a Toblerone to compare with Coco Tang’s and I think Orange Tree’s was even better. I felt so bad for Steve though because first we all changed our order’s a million times and then by the time he got to the bar there were a million people ahead of him because of the graduation ceremony had people going out to celebrate. After that we went back to change for dinner and ended up splitting up. Justin, James and Karen and I went to dinner at the Slug and Lettuce and went and saw The Dark Knight Rises with Marwa. So good doesn’t even cover it. The boys were just silent afterwards cause it was so good. Karen didn’t have her glasses since she had left them at the waterskiing place two days before and Justin kept saying “Follow my voice Karen. Beepbeep. Boop.” This has now become a hilarious inside joke that really isn’t all that funny. When I got back I packed for London! The end.
Street Photography, room really hot, tired, tired, tired, lunch at Pret A Manger, gelado, delicious, slow walk back, edit photos, tired, Bonnington, lace talk, tired, too much lace, really hungry, italian restaurant, delicious cheese pizza and cookie dough lava cake, tired, talk with Jerika and Rachel X2, so you think for a minute, skype with mom for 45 min, done!
Trip going so fast, same amount of sleep, not as tired, went to class, did social landscape: people without people in the picture, really awesome pidgeon picture, weird food at Greggs, ham/cheese pasty, went off with Justin to photograph, ended up having a lengthy discussion on religion, getting super lost, found our way to the park by hyson green, went wrong direction again, finally made it back after 2-2.5 hours, super tired, didn’t really edit, went back, made rest of crepe batter, went to water skiing facilities, got dropped off at wrong place, walked 15 minutes to right place, hard to put on wet suit, so nervous, had so much fun, tired from swimming, helped karen swim better, poured rain, thundered and lightening super loud, got mistaken for an acapella group, tired , showered, Nandos, got ready, wore love birds dress, Coco tang, toblerone, lots of dancing, subdued atmosphere, came back, slept.
Such a struggle to get up. But what’s new? I had enough time for some yogurt and fruit which was delicious. We proceeded to class and then had a lengthy discussion about landscapes. I proceeded to sketch a bad picture of James that at least looked somewhat human. After going through the photos we set out towards the canals. It was a long walk and we took pictures on the way, while lots of laughter ensued. We walked along the canal whilst Justin continued to fake push me in. We were all starving by the time we turned back for lunch. Justin, James, Karen and I decided to go to the Navigator pub. They had around 30 types of burgers. I got the caribbean which had jerk spiced chicken, and pineapple among other things and was absolutely delicious. Justin got the Boston Nibbler which was almost “the size of his head” as the bartender warned him. The burger won. After he recovered for a minute, we made the agonizingly long walk back to rejoin the rest of class who had brought lunch. This felt incredibly long due to the amount of food consumed and the increasing amount of tiredness, but we finally made our way back. When we got to Waverly, we just sat outside at a table. After we worked up the strength to move again we went to the classroom and edited/was really tired for the rest of the time. Then we dropped things off and went shopping for five minutes before going to the Nottingham Contemporary. Toured the outside because they were changing the exhibit, and then did a collaborative art exercise. Then listened to a long talk on the Olympics and the non-sport journalism. Then went to a bar to get food. Had pad thai and a grilled peach with gorgonzola and honey appetizer. The appetizer was amazing. The cheese was incredible with the honey and the pad thai was different, but really good! Then we returned to get ready to go out for Eva’s birthday. We didn’t really find any good places to dance and ended up going back around 12:30. Then we continued to hang out and watched Planet Earth :)
Mother nature is such a pimp.
~Jerika, while watching planet earth
Despite having the most sleep I’ve had the whole trip, I struggled, and I mean struggled to get up this morning. I guess it was all the shopping and the buffet that did me in.
We had a our first photography class for the week with 6 of us in the class: James, Justin, Karen, Rachel, Jerika and me :). Super fun. James and I went off to photograph on the minimalism assignment and then we all got really hungry and went over to the Newton building and then couldn’t go to the cafe cause there was a graduation. People were literally everywhere in their caps and gowns, so we picked up our money (Yay!) and went to lunch in Bonnington where I overzealously got a small smoothie, gnocci with vegetables and marinara sauce, and a hot chocolate royale. Yeah I know. I had to share, but it was so good! It went perfectly with the rainy day. We returned to Waverly and edited our minimalist photos, and then Justin and I went through the building to take more pictures. We found James in the top room that was quite big and filled with the clutter of random items. As I opened the door I said authoritatively, “Hey! Get out of here!” The look on James’ face was priceless! At that point I gave up with photography and danced around the room a bit giggling as Justin put his camera on burst and took 35 pictures of me standing still (he only caught the moment I was standing still lol). We returned to class and then finished up and met Les Arthur for a walk. We walked around Nottingham Trent campus and he gave some of the history of the landscape and was super interesting.
After we all returned to the flat, and I began to edit more pictures while some people went running. When they came back and did sit ups I suddenly felt inspired and joined in. But once you start exercising it’s contagious, so I went outside and did some split squats, star jumps, lunges, ran a few laps and some other exercises. The rain felt so good as I got my blood pumping. It was fun to see through the window that Justin was working on his long scroll pen drawing of a cityscape. After that I rushed to pick up my laundry that I had started earlier with Cora and Rachel and showered in 5 minutes to go to dinner at Wagamama’s (SOOOOO GOOODD!!). We met Eva, a Latvian student in our class, and walked over. I had green tea (free!), and split the katsu chicken curry, and mandarin chicken with Karen. I’ve been really excited about having a sketchbook that I actually make little drawings in and have been really inspired by Justin and James’ sketchbooks and drawings. I think I’ve rediscovered my love for traditional art. I began drawing the soy sauce bottle, but then James gave me a hard time about not making conversation, so I put it away for a while :p. We sat talking for a while after the meal and then I realized they weren’t going to bring the check until we asked for it which is quite different than the US.
We then hopped over to Waitrose, the quaint grocery store that Cora, Rachel Y. and I had gone to and returned back to the flat. I made the salted chocolate chip cookies again. Let’s just say they were quite a hit again and plates were scraped fully clean. Not a crumb left! Even the spatula was licked clean haha. (Thanks Rachel G!) We then played a game that was like pictionary mashed up with telephone. You either started with a phrase or picture and then passed it to the next person who either drew a picture or wrote what they thought the picture was respectively. This caused never ending laughter that just ricochetted around the room. Never ever ever forget that laughter is the best medicine! The way the drawings morphed was absolutely hilarious. At one point Cora gave me a drawing that was supposed to be smile, tongue, girth and Justin face (the sequence of group pictures from the bar that was a church: Pitcher and Piano). I completely misinterpreted it, with absolutely hilarious results. Girth did not look anything like girth. We’ll leave it at that. This game continued until 1am when we finally started moving into the hall to go back to our rooms. Justin came up to me and started trying to do the hand slapping game and I was losing badly. I was just too slow to pull my hand away in time, when Jerika came up and slapped Justin’s hand from below. This set off the most EPIC uncontrollable laughter as he continued to try and play fair and we slapped his hands from below. Even Karen got and upward slap in. Between Jerika and I the peals of laughter rang throughout the hall. It was the MOST fun I have had in such a long while. We laughed until the tears rolled down our cheeks and we were hyperventilating due to laughing so hard that we couldn’t breath. Our laughter brought Rachel Y, Karen and James into the hall to document this out of control laughing fit. Even after 10 minutes we began to calm down only to burst out into laughter again. I couldn’t even stand as I cried, laughed and couldn’t breath. It was the absolute best. Absolutely brilliant fun. I am still so awake from it haha. Looks like I’ll be struggling to get up tomorrow morning again :p
Sometimes the best thing to do is make crepes. So that is what I did this morning. I made crepes and felt the joy of creating my first masterpiece of the day (the perfectly round crepe) and made sure to capture it in picture form. After much cleaning of the incredibly disgusting kitchen (pasta sauce caked on everywhere…and we couldn’t help but wonder how the heck it got all the way up the wall). Future cooking seems like a bad idea after the shape the kitchen was in. But we all know it will happen anyways.
It felt like the perfect time to reward ourselves with some shopping after the intensive cleaning session, so Cora, Rachel Y. and I headed to the city center. We stopped at the Nottingham Tourism center and talked with the nicest guy about where we should go in the afternoon. Our original idea had us hiking around Derbyshire (pronounced darby shur), however due to time constraints and the priority of shopping (shopping vs hiking…the answer seemed quite clear), we decided to go to Wollaton Hall only 15 minutes away. Many maps and pamphlets later, we left and made our way over to Primark (Forever 21ish). Proceeded to pick out lots of clothes, tried on said clothes, needed different sizes for two dresses, but decided it wasn’t worth it to wait in the dressing room line to try them on so I just bought them. I got a headache from the intense shopping, so I stopped at Pret A Manger (partially cause of the french name…) and got a baguette and a banana to take some advil. Commence lots of shoe shoppping. Realized that most shoes cause insane discomfort. Pondered a bit why that is. Then gave up. Tried to find the camera store and couldn’t, realized we were running out of time and began to head back so we could catch the bus to get to Wollaton. We also were meeting Marwa and Sarah and Siyu. However, on the way back we stopped at a fruit stand that had absolutely amazing nectarines, and then Cora spotted an amazing vintage shop called Braderie. Needless to say we became very, very distracted. There were incredible one of a kind wallets, and purses that we ogled over for a good 15 minutes. I definitely want to go back :P. I bought a beautiful handmade leather journal with flowers and patterns stamped on the cover and with handmade paper on the inside. I haven’t a clue what will go inside it, but I’ve wanted a nice leather journal for a while and decided this was the one. By that time, we were running quite late.
We made our way back to the flat to drop things off, and then realized we most likely weren’t going to make it in time to actually go into Wollaton Hall, but decided to try anyways. Wollaton Hall is this large castle/mansion/estate with surrounding land and gardens. It’s also a new tourist destination cause the most recent Batman film was filmed there. I thought it was a shame we couldn’t go in (by the time we coordinated with Marwa and Sarah, and took the bus there with Siyu, we arrived at the back gates [a ten minute walk from the hall] 5minutes past closing time. We didn’t make it in, but that didn’t stop us at all. We turned the trip into a photoshoot with the surrounding buildings and the outside of the hall, which as I mentioned looked like a castle. When we finally met up with Marwa and Sarah, we made our way to the front of the Hall and then saw an ice cream truck. Clearly there was no choice needed, so we all got ice cream. It was soft serve with a twirl (flaky stick of chocolate) in a cone. This also provided the perfect photo opportunity. The soft serve here is a bit different in flavor and is much creamier than in the US. It was pure deliciousness and a fantastic use of a pound and a half. We then walked around the gardens and took more photos (I think everyone was thoroughly fed up with all of my picture taking by the end…Sorry Sarah and Marwa!).
As we left it began to get quite chilly, but we finally made our way though the gorgeous grounds, admiring the deer, the lake, and the greenery. We had perfect timing with the bus schedule as our bus passed by within a minute of us getting there. Unfortunately none of us realized we had to hail it down and had to call Marwa. We made sure not to miss the next bus which fortunately came 10 minutes later. We got dropped off by this buffet called Peachy Keen. If you are smart, you are reading this and telling us not to go into a buffet because logically you will eat yourself sick, but we were really hungry, so any logic went out the door. This place was incredible and had cuisine from all over: Indian, Italian, Chinese, and one other I believe. We just had a field day tasting everything. My favorite was when I went up to ask the Indian chef for some naan bread and he made it right in front of me! I was so tickled. I had forgotten that it is made by slapping the dough on the inside of a very hot and very large ceramic pot. It was incredible.
Needless to say, after gorging ourselves we all felt quite sick and took a while to finally get up and walk home. When we got back, we treated ourselves to watching So You Think You Can Dance. It was a beautiful decision. It made me miss dance so much, so I danced around the kitchen for a few minutes. Now here I am. Blogging and posting photos to entertain all of those who are reading and perusing. Hopefully it’s enjoyable!